Sustainable Urban Building Contest 2013

January 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Academics, Certification, Events, General, Green Building Projects, Member Projects | Leave a comment
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Construction21 and Metropolitan Solutions are organising a new European online contest

Cities and local authorities worldwide have something in common: they have to become so called “Smart cities”. The intensifying trend of urbanisation forces cities to upgrade their existing infrastructure and to completely develop new forms of infrastructure. Therefore city planers, architects, technical experts and decision makers need smart and practicable solutions that are resource efficient, secure, low in emissions and reliable at the same time. Future infrastructural systems have to be intelligent, autonomously and interlinked to insure the provision of rapidly growing urban populations alongside a high quality of life.

Buildings are an important factor in this urban development, and the “Sustainable Urban Building Contest” seeks to address this aspect. With a view to promoting Best Practice solutions, we ask applicants submitting buildings to the contest to showcase

solutions that are already feasible and have been made reality today. For buildings you have already completed, show us:

1. How buildings can be integrated into the infrastructures of the “city of the future”

2. How buildings can make a positive contribution to infrastructures of the “city of the future”

3. How buildings can help improve quality of life in a city

Applications can be submitted online from the 21st of January 2013 until the 22nd of February in 2013.

The voting phase starts at the 25th of February until the 13th of March of 2013.

Read more about the Contest and the rules at Construction21.eu .

The winners will be awarded to present their Best Practice Solutions at the Metropolitan Solutions Fair in Hannover (8 – 12 April 2013). Metropolitan Solutions has developed as platform for applications and solutions for cities and megacities, and has grown significantly since its launch in 2011. In April 2012, more than 70 exhibitors showcased their offers on 3,000 square meters. Beginning in 2013 the trade show has more space in Hall 1 and an innovative concept of immersion in the “city of the future”. Instead of the usual exhibition passageways, for example, visitors walk along streets lit with streetlamps. Panoramic wall images display forward-looking products and urban development solutions. Visitors are brought to Hall 1 in electric cars.

Students, teachers and building professionals participated in 12 events across Romania to promote greener schools

October 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Academics, Building Greener Schools, Events, Green Building Projects | Leave a comment
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The Romania Green Building Council (RoGBC) in partnership with the Ministry of Education launched the nationwide “Construieste Scoli Verzi” (Building Greener Schools) campaign to take action to renovate and construct Romania’s kindergartens, schools and universities toward better environmental and energy performance.

The campaign included seven initiatives organized by students and their teachers from kindergarten through high school that emphasized the importance of taking better care of the environment.   The RoGBC and Ministry of Education organized five additional events to train and build awareness about the importance of the school facilities themselves to improving health, reducing absenteeism, achieving better learning outcomes, and reducing maintenance and energy costs for the nation’s school system.[1]

“We were pleased to have such an enthusiastic response from the Ministry of Education, teachers, parents and students to support this initiative.     It is clear that in addition to the many important considerations contributing to a quality education, the condition of the facilities where we study matter greatly.” says Cristina Siu, Leader of the RoGBC’s “Construieste Scoli Verzi” Campaign.

The campaign includes a petition to gather signatures of support for green schools from citizens at events and online via the RoGBC’s Facebook campaign[2].   In addition, each of the schools who organized green awareness events have been entered into a contest to win a green renovation of their school facility by the Romania Green Building Council and its member companies.  The winner will be selected on 12 October 2012.

Photos of the events and student projects are available HERE

More details on the specific initiatives:

  1. Green School contest

All schools in Romania interested in expanding their efforts to change the design, construction and operation of education facilities with the objective of engaging children’s learning experiences were invited to participate in a contest to win a substantial prize package to green their school. The contest has been organized in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth & Sport.  To be eligible to win, schools in Romania had to conceive, upload, and conduct a “green project or event” on September 29, 2012.  In addition to describing the intended project or event within www.MyGreenApple.org, applicants had to indicate a brief statement for supporting a green renovation project by the school principal, local school administration official, and by the mayor of the city (if possible).

We were pleased to receive submission from kindergartens, schools and high-schools from different cities in Romania:

  • Bucharest:
    • Ion Neculce high-school; Project name: ”Ride the bike no matter the age”.  2012 was declared by the European Commission the European Year of Active  and Intergenerational Solidarity. This is why the school initiated a campaign in collaboration with the Municipality of Bucharest to promote bicycle use for leisure as a means of recreation and healthy life at any age. High school students  opened  dialogue with people of the third age and promoted the message of maintaining an active life with unique illustrations created by the students.
    • George Cosbuc high-school. Project name: “Blossoming the Enviroment”; the studentscleaned the green spaces within their  schoolyard in order to have a more proper view and tidier surroundings.
  • Cluj-Napoca:
    • Transilvania College: The teachers, parents and children of Transylvania College got together for the Annual Welcome Brunch, that this year had an environmental theme, to celebrate “Green Apple Day of Service.” The event took place outdoors, in a beautiful wooden area. The children participated in an Origami workshop where they learned to make green apples out of recycled paper. All the apples adorned the Transylvania College tree, their school symbol.

To further raise awareness about the importance of this day, Mr. Dorin Beu, President of RoGBC Transylvania joined the Transilvania College  team, to speak about the health benefits of studying in green buildings.

    • Biobee Kindergarten: Play is an essential component of healthy development in children, and playgrounds provide an opportunity for children to develop motor, cognitive, perceptual and social skills.  Unfortunately, playgrounds are often the sites of unintentional injuries.  The leading cause of playground equipment-related fatalities is strangulation, and the majority of these deaths occur on home playgrounds. The event organized by Biobee Kindergarten had a simple purpose: to raise the level of awareness within adults to take care of parks. The action took place in the Center Park of Cluj City. Children brought apples with them and played games, made drawings and paintings.
    • Cojocna Middle- School: Project Name: “Recycle waste for a cleaner nature”; Motto: “Don’t through away today what you can use tomorrow!” Students made from recyclable materials like: PET, aluminum, cans, straw, paper, wood, polystyrene, plastic bottles etc paintings and hand made craft that will be displayed within the school’s green corner, to demonstrate to their colleagues and  parents and that want a green change in people’s mentality.
  • Sibiu:  Casolt Middle School; “We care” project – rehabilitation of schools sorroundings; planting flowers and trees.
  • Alba Iulia: Calnic Middle School: “A better school for a better future” – cleaning the areas around the school and the Medieval Fortress.
  • Dambovita – Gura Sutii Kindergarten: cleaning the kindergarten’s courtyard that is full of plastic and paper waste.

The prize of the contest consists in the implementation of the renovation process as described in the letter provided by the school in correlation with the evaluation report prepared by the partner companies leading the green building revolution in Romania. The campaign partners offer effective solutions to dramatically improve health and learning ability of our schools occupants as well as the energy efficiency and environmental responsibility associated with the construction and renovation process. The prize package includes planning and design services, project management, ecological building materials and coatings, sustainable landscaping, and energy efficient and green energy technology.

The contest was held in coordination with the “Green Apple International Day of Service”;  an awareness building initiative created by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools supported by the World Green Building Council and implemented locally by the Romania Green Building Council.

The winning school will be announced on October 12th.  Please visit www.RoGBC.org for more information.

  1. 28 to 30 September 2012 – Exhibition for Building Greener Schools. The RoGBC organized an exhibition at the National Real Estate Fair in Bucharest to demonstrate the importance of building and operating the nation’s schools to make them healthier, more energy efficient and with significantly less environmental impact.    Student volunteers from the Romania Green Building Council’s Associate Member program collected signatures from visitors who wished to express their support for the Building Greener Schools campaign.  Those signatures will be combined with those collected online at the RoGBC’s Facebook campaign described above.
  1. 28 September 2012 – Introduction to Green Schools discussion  – dedicated to increasing understanding of why and how to design, construct and operate green schools.   Cristian Popescu, CEO of Cofely Romania, Steven Borncamp, President of RoGBC, and Sergiu Vasile Moga, Director of the State Secretary’s cabinet delivered presentations to educators, school planners, facility managers and the building community.   The presentation included examples to demonstrate how energy efficient and environmentally responsible solutions improve learning, increase attendance of students and faculty, improve health and save money.
  1. 29 September 2012 – Parent’s day Transilvania College (formerly International School of Cluj) –  hosted parents’ day to welcome the parents and students back to the school year.   The event kicked off a public campaign to raise funds for the school’s own new annex building which will be constructed to the highest sustainable construction standards.    In addition, funds will be raised through the RoGBC’s “Building Greener Schools” campaign to be made available to a public school in need of a green renovation; a project to be planned an designed during this school year and completed over the summer break in 2013.  Simona Baciu, the school’s Director, highlighted the recent green features of its building expansion as well as plans for the new “deep green” annex.
  1. 29 September 2012 – Ecobiblioteca workshop. The Romania Green Building Council (RoGBC) and its member companies have renovated the library of the village of Cacica, Romania to become one of the greenest buildings in Europe.   The building is aspiring to “full petal recognition” of the ambitious Living Building Challenge standard and to achieve LEED Platinum certification.   29 September 2012 included activites for the community’s school children to learn about this very special building and the surrounding sustainable landscaping and amphitheatre.  The RoGBC conducted a workshop to finalize the design of the interior and exterior furniture, childrens’ playground and sustainable landscaping plan. more information on the project is available here: http://www.rogbc.org/en/ecobiblioteca

We will count all signatures and deliver them to the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth & Sport to demonstrate the level of interest of the entire community in building and operating greener schools.


[1] According to the Building Research Establishment (www.BRE.co.uk), Green Schools improve tests scores by 18% and can reduce maintenance and operating costs by 40% to 50%

Construction21.eu International Launch at Consense, 19th of June – Stuttgart

June 13, 2012 at 8:30 am | Posted in Academics, Certification, Events, General, Legislative Outreach, Meeting Notes, News from Members, Upcoming Meetings | Leave a comment

The European platform for green building practitioners

A project strongly supported by Europe to develop a green economy   

 Construction 21 is a social media tool and platform specifically designed to drive ambitious, trans formative improvement in how we design, build, and operate our buildings; linked also. This specialized platform is supported by Europe’s most influential Green Building Councils, trade associations and leading academic institutions. Available to the public since March 2012, Construction21 will be officially presented to international press and professionals in Consense, 19-20th of June – Stuttgart.

Buildings have typically been a conservative industry seeing only incremental changes in past decades. The recognition of resource constraints and the understanding of the significant impact our buildings have on our environment has been driving significant change in the building industry.

Achieve European objectives for energy efficiency and CO2 emissions supposes a complete change in building practices.  Construction21 is born to help practitioners to develop a new way of building in the whole Europe.

Construction21’s heart is a database for:

  • case studies presenting the most innovative projects through Europe
  • products and innovative services that have been used within these performant buildings
  • news – events agenda and information flow on green building issues, coming from partner websites and the whole Construction21 community

 Construction21 members have the possibility to

  • Publish news about their sustainable initiatives
  • Comment on published articles
  • Participate within thematic communities
  • Publish case studies and make their innovations known at an international scale
  • Share researches and experiences within their own community
  • Be up to date with the latest industry news
  • Promote their company with a direct link to their website

A national and international information system

Construction21 has created the first multi-specialist and multi-lingual network on sustainable building in Europe.

  • Six national platforms in 2012France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Lithuania and Romania
  • The 27 European countries within 5 years
  • Construction 21 is a free and open platform , linked to BUILDUP, the European portal for energy efficiency in buildings,  best content showing in both platforms as well as on all other Construction21 platforms assuring them an European audience

Construction21, a clear benefit for everyone

  • engineers,
  • architects,
  • owners,
  • developers,
  • contractors, builders,
  • asset / facility managers,
  • legal professionals,
  • Energy auditors,
  • manufacturers,
  • consultants,
  • rating tool and product verifiers,
  • associations,
  • researchers, trainers,teachers,
  • government officials…

Nobody masters all the topics involved in sustainable building. To improve their practices, specialists of each field share researches and experiences within their own community, managed by an expert of the sector. Air tightness, energy performance management, life cycle analysis, sustainable urbanism… Construction21 covers all the fields, technical as general or managerial ones. More over, communities can lead “real life” events as fairs, conferences or visits, or give them more visibility.

Construction21 is developed in co-ownership by leading institutions in each countryto ensure strong roots in their respective building sectors : Green Building Councils in Germany and Romania, Chambers of commerce and Building trade associations in Italy, French, German and Spanish expert organisations and School of Architecture in Lithuania.

On sustainable building, practitioners need high quality and seamless information There’s so many topics to deal with and valuable information is so scarce. That’s why national and leader experts organizations are called to join forces, in order to make this sustainable building resources center a reality. That’s why they will share the Construction21 governance and ownership.

Organizations from the six founder countries, France, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Romania and Spain, have joined in a Consortium to create Construction21, Romania Green Building Council (RoGBC) being the platform’s Romanian Partner.

More details about Construction 21 here www.construction21.eu/romania, Details about Consense here http://www.construction21.eu/romania/articles/ro/lansarea-oficial-la-nivel-internaional-a-platformei-construction21-in-cadrul-targului-consense-la-stuttgart-pe-19-iunie-2012.html .

 

Greener Schools for Romania!

May 9, 2010 at 10:15 am | Posted in Academics, Building Greener Schools, General, Green Building Projects, Member Projects | Leave a comment
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The RoGBC has gotten very active in promoting Green Schools in Romania. The benefits for promoting sustainability in the design, construction and operations of schools are numerous. For example…studies show children in healthier

Adrian Moisa of RoGBC member company Jetrun EnergoEco and Felicia Ienculescu-Popovici of Greenitiative working together for Green Schools

environments with better lighting, including natural daylight, out-perform their peers academically. School operators receive the benefits of lower energy and other operating costs from better designed facilities. Of course, students who directly interact with sustainable buildings will not only develop a greater appreciation for sustainability but will also influence their parent’s and other members of their household.

Our Green Building Council is promoting this in three actions…

1) Partnering with Greenitiative. Founders Felicia and Marius Ienculescu-Popovici have been strong advocates of green education having conducted education campaigns and demonstrative projects with big plans for the future. The RoGBC has been in discussion with them and will present plans for involving our member companies in Green School renovations and new construction. RoGBC Member companies, including Jetrun EnergoEco and Naturalpaint have already been supporting their actions.

2) Partnering with local schools. The Green Building Council – led by Bogdan Draganescu Ph.D RoGBC Vice President and founder of sustainability consultancy Smart & Pepper, is reviewing selected green projects in local schools to identify cost-effective solutions with the greatest impact for sustainability.

3) Educational Materials. The RoGBC team has produced a educational brochure entitled “Save money with Green Construction” while Chapman Taylor produced a illustrative “What is a Green School” document to visually demonstrate the elements of green design thinking.   We delivered this to selected teachers to pilot test discussions with their students and provide feedback to us on what they will want for the future.

The interest from municipalities, school leadership, parents, and, most enthusiastically, STUDENTS is growing very quickly. Expect to see more action and projects starting in the weeks ahead.

We look forward to your feedback and to hear from more of our members on their involvement in greening Romania’s schools!

The RoGBC Team

Promising news for green building

December 19, 2009 at 4:13 am | Posted in Academics, General | 1 Comment

This past week at the Copenhagen climate talks I attended a presentation by U.S. Energy

U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu discusses the necessity to include buildings in a climate change solution at the UNFCCC conference in Copenhagen

Secretary (and Nobel prize in physics winner) Dr. Steven Chu.     His presentation focused on many types of green innovation being developed by the private sector and others supported by the Department of Energy and other segments of the government.   It was evident from his presentation some very promising news:

1) The U.S. government considers green buildings as an essential part of a solution to climate change, energy independence, and economic growth through green jobs

and…

2) Significant and market-ready innovations will be rolling out in the next one to two years; particularly in the area of solar PV and materials.

What does this mean to the RoGBC?    I think we can only benefit from a greater emphasis of the U.S. government and companies to bring forth new products and spur a friendly competition that encourages continued innovation around the world.     There will be plenty of work to go around for all that we have to do.

– Steve

Timisoara Workshop – City Young Minds Draw the PUG

December 9, 2008 at 11:23 pm | Posted in Academics, Events | Leave a comment
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During the 17th of November till the 21st of November, Romania Green Building Council was represented in the City Environment workshop, an international and cross-disciplinary workshop between young professionals, trying to understand the process of creating a Master Plan or a PUG (General Urban Plan) in an ecological approach.

Workshop Organizers:

The Faculty of Mechanics Students’ League, Timisoara

The Faculty of Mechanics Students’ League from Timisoara (LSFMT) is a non-governmental, apolitical organisation, mainly committed to representing the students’ rights and interests through specific means and representatives in different decision making forums.

The Urban Planning Workshop, Timisoara

It is a space organized by the Urban Planning Departments of Timisoara (Atelierul de Urbanism), in Piata Operei, design to become an interface between the Urban Planning Department and the city. Its purpose is to inform citizens about the projects that are going to be approved, to present projects, to host exhibitions or other events like the workshop.

Romanian Landscape Architects’ Association

Romania Landscape Architects’ Association (AsoP) is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-political and independent organization that supports the development of the landscaping activities in Romania and promotes the active implication of the citizens in the development of the green spaces and encourages them to join the efforts of the non-profit organization in improving the quality of life.

Volunteer members of ‘Peace Corps’, USA

The Peace Corps is a United States governmental agency that sends volunteers to over 70 countries all over the world to help meet the need for trained men and women, to educate citizens of other countries about America, and to educate Americans about other peoples and cultures. Daniel is an urban planner and Sarah and Doug are environmentalists.

About the workshop itself:

Monday, 17th of November

We all met in the afternoon at Atelierul de Urbanism and started discussions about what a Master Plan or a General Urban Plan is. Discussions were held by Mr. Sorin Ciurariu, Chief Architect of Timisoara, and Mr. Serban Bortnowski. There were 25 participants – students from different specializations (architecture, urban planning, landscaping and geography) and from different countries (Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, France, Serbia, Spain and Italy). We were highlighted the problems we face in this process of creating a Master Plan in Romania, and how things should be done. The subject of the workshop was also presented: the approach of a Master Plan, main ideas of the process, adapted for Timisoara and a key project (proposals for an ex-industrial area situated near the Iosefin residential protected area, between the Bega River and the train lines, in proximity with the train station). When discussions were over, in the evening, we made a short city visit and ended in the Architecture Faculty’s Pub.

Tuesday, 18th of November

In the morning we went for a site visit, to see where our key project is located and to understand the context. After that, we divided into groups and made a SWOT analysis of the site.

The organizers invited us, the participants, to the Politechnical University’s swimming pool to enjoy a relaxing evening.

Wednesday, 19th of November

In the morning we split in 3 groups: the urban planners’ group (mainly composed of the students from Bucharest), the architects’ group (with students from Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara) and the landscape architects’ group (in which all the foreign students were present). Each group was accompanied by someone from the organizers, to keep in touch with the Timisoara context. We presented the 3 proposals. They were similar in many points of view, but also had strong differences. The landscape architects thought at a large scale first, and came up with ideas at the metropolitan area: creating a surrounding green belt, connecting it to the European Green Belt, they highlighted the villages from the metropolitan area and proposed connections between them. They also had an approach of the key project, proposing to flood the most important part of the area. The urban planners concentrated a lot on transportation, completing the transportation rings. The architects were very specific, coming with proposals for the key project: creating a modular system of housing for different social classes, including the river in the city, through a sort of harbor, transportation along the river, and transforming the train station into a multi-layered transportation hub, with a mixed function. All the proposals were in a way influenced by the others, because we were encouraged to be involved in the other groups’ proposals.

In the afternoon we had to negotiate a common solution for the key project. Also, as an important part of the workshop, we started working on a set of statements, at the city’s scale, that would list the main directions we considered Timisoara should follow in the process of creating the General Urban Plan and the Master Plan. Negotiations went well and cross-disciplinary work gave birth to a better solution. Negotiation wasn’t about giving something away, but gaining more.

Thursday, 20th of November

This day was dedicated to real work, aiming for a set of statements and the key project. Negotiations continued and even new ideas appeared. It was a long day, and everybody proved to be really dedicated to the work. Some of us stayed very late at night (even after 6 in the morning) to make sure we did a good job. Hard work in big teams also comes with a lot of fun. We listened to music, made jokes, and enjoyed working together.

Friday, 21st of November

We came back at the Atelierul de Urbanism as fast as we could woke up from a very short sleep, and continued with the last details and prepared the slides for the presentation. At about 12 o’clock we went to the Politechnical University’s Senat Room. Among the invitees were the Mayor, the Technical University’s Rector, the Chief Architect, the president of Timis Architects’ Order, the press and others. After we presented the process of the workshop and the final results, debates started on the ideas we came up with, the workshop’s process, the statements, etc.

As a conclusion:

I’d say the workshop was a successful one. We, the participants, learned to think cross-disciplinary in such a big project as a General Urban Plan or a Master Plan and kept our minds focused on environmental issues.

Hopefully, the ideas will be taken into account for the actual General Urban Plan and Master Plan of Timisoara city, and why not, maybe this kind of actions will take place in other important city of Romania, since all of them are now working on the new General Urban Plan and Master Plan.

Photos of the event are available here.

The list of statements are available here.

Hoping for a ‘greener’ future in a ‘greener’ world,

Adrian Pop

New associate member

October 31, 2008 at 8:55 am | Posted in Academics, General | 1 Comment
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We are proud to announce the first recipient of this type of membership…  Adrian Pop is enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the Technical University of Cluj.   Adrian has assisted us in recent months with identifying appropriate green building research for our roll out of our “Green Building Knowledge Sharing Community” platform and represented the RoGBC and assisted with logistics for the WWF’s “Climate Caravan” event in Cluj.    Adrian has done such a good job we have asked him to assist us further in a part-time position with the Council.

Welcome to the RoGBC!

– Steve

RoGBC Associate Memberships for academics

October 31, 2008 at 8:49 am | Posted in Academics, General | Leave a comment
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Full time students and professors are eligible to become an “associate member” of the RoGBC by providing 80 hours of service to the RoGBC in exchange for a one year membership.   We have identified and will continue to identify projects useful for meeting the RoGBC and our member companies’ objectives.  Members can suggest projects we should include in this initiative.

The procedure:

– submit a resume/CV

– submit a cover describing your intentions for joining the RoGBC, what you feel you could contribute to the council, and on which types of projects you would like to work.

Below are two sample 80 hour projects that will satisfy the requirements to become an associate member….  The work must be suitable for publishing, include the latest available technologies and/or techniques in green building,  and needs to include 80 hours of new effort… not republishing existing work.   This work result must also be action oriented… not just a theoretical exploration.

Expenses can be reimbursed but will be decided on a case by case basis.

Project 1

– Review BREEAM and LEED standards for offices
– Create an inventory of “green construction related courses” throughout Romania’s Universities, Research Institutions, Training Companies, etc.
– Provide analysis on the suitability of each course toward the latest green standards
– Provide recommendations for how the RoGBC can best promote sustainable construction working with Romanian Universities

Project 2 (can be one or two people…it could be, for example, a business student with an architectural professor or student)

Purpose – Provide analysis to promote green products, materials, technology,

– Choose  a subject area (e.g. Green Roofs, Energy Efficient Lighting, GeoThermal application in Buildings, Integration of Traditional Building Styles with Modern Applications, etc.)
– Prepare a paper that describes the market and economic opportunities, employment opportunities, barriers, expected results, existing and projected installations, existing government funding, desired government funding, recommended approach.

Please send questions and/or your resume and CV to info@RoGBC.org.

Thank you for your interest.

Steven Borncamp, Romania Green Building Council

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